Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Army of THE One - VBS 2011

V.B.S. starts this morning!  I'm so excited!  Our theme this year is "Army of THE One".  We have our VBS for three days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday).  I will be teaching the 1st & 2nd graders and expect to have around 15 students.
This picture is from the door way and is what the students will see when they arrive in the classroom.
These little "Privates" are their attendance markers.  Each child will draw their eyes, nose, and mouth on their person this morning and will add a gold star sticker each day they attend.  I've already added hair to the girl "Privates" that I know will be there.  I may have to make more for others that come (which is great!).  These were made by purchasing shirt-shaped paper party plates and foam head shaped.  The hats are made from camouflage napkins.
This is another view, from the back corner of the room.
Each student will receive a camo hat, a VBS t-shirt, a blank notebook, and a camo dog tag.  These items will be taken home at the end of VBS on Thursday.  The blank book is used as a journal for them to tell the story each day.  Today's story is "Joshua and the Battle of Jericho". The will write about it, but also I have some little pictures copied off for them to glue in the journal.
The wall to the left is the "Armor of God" wall for Thursday's lesson. The right wall will be used today.  I'll show more pictures in tonight's post, but the boxes at the bottom that make the wall will be used for the children to build their own wall to be knocked down.
This little paratroopers were party favors, but I couldn't figure out how to do the parachutes that came with them!  I bought them thinking they were ready-made, but they weren't.  I had bought some natural coffee filters because I liked the color of them, so switched out the white, plastic parachutes with these coffee filters.  Instead of traditional "armor", these soldiers are holding different words that go along with our stories for the week:  courage, trust, faith, truth, salvation, righteousness, etc.
As a cute addition to the room, gold stars with glittered dots at the points are scattered over the walls.  Glitter paint is also around the black-coloring-book-style pictures on the walls.  I'll show more pictures of that throughout the week.

VBS is an exciting time for children.  It works out well for our VBS to be the week after school is out each summer - typically beginning the day after Memorial Day.  Sadly, the other day as I was looking for some room decorations, I mentioned to a lady at a store that I needed the item for VBS.  She replied, "What's that?"  I said, "Vacation Bible School".  I don't think she had a clue what it was.  That made me sad and I should have talked to her more about it.  Instead of being shocked and sad, I should have used the opportunity to teach and talk about Jesus.  Lesson learned:  lost opportunity.

I'm looking forward to teaching the children this week about God, about his promises, and about His Word and His Son!  I'm thankful for VBS and for those who take the time to help with it and who take the time to bring their children.  It's going to be a great week!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Teacher of the Year 2011

Each year, at the end of school, the annual Teacher of the Year Reception is held at the Tipton Home cafeteria. The school committee responsible for the event makes plans, collects donations for gifts for the recipients, and orders the cake(s). For the past seven or so years, I have been asked to decorate for the reception. It is something I enjoy doing - and especially enjoy trying to make the decorations "fit" the person who has one the award.
The more difficult task, though, is that our school also is over a juvenile center in Manitou and there is a "Teacher of the Year" selected from their faculty, as well.  I usually try to find out a little bit about the person, but sometimes that is hard.  To add to all of that, this year the committee decided to give a "Support Staff Person of the Year" and decided to keep it all a secret!  This made my decorating job more difficult, but it was kind of fun to be different, too.
An "Oscar" theme was chosen - mostly because it went well with our school colors of Vegas gold and black.  After a few weeks, it was announced that Mrs. (Coach) Tyler was the Tipton "Teacher of the Year".  Since I know her well and three of my children have had her for a teacher/coach, they helped me with ideas to personalize her table.  My children suggested Elvis and basketball.  Elvis went with the Oscar theme, so I asked a friend if I could borrow some of her items.  Just look at her Elvis memorabilia! 
As a special treat, "Elvis" (a.k.a. Mr. Kincannon, our high school principal) flew in (Yes, he IS alive! That very topic was debated in Coach Tyler's English classes earlier in the year.) to give Coach Tyler her award.  Congratulations, Coach Tyler!! (She doesn't too coach much now, but once a coach....always a "Coach"!! :)
So, for the Manitou teacher, I wasn't sure who it was until a few days before the reception.  She had taught my daughter in 4th grade and all Lauren could remember was that Mrs. Willis liked flip flops with flowers!  Another teen aged former students also remembered that Mrs. Willis liked shoes!  One of them also knew she liked basketball, so I went that route.  Didn't really go with "Oscar", but made it more personal for Mrs. Willis.  Congratulations, Mrs. Willis!
For the new "Support Person of the Year" award, not many people knew at all who had been selected.  I didn't even know until a little bit before the reception.  Why keep it a surprise?  For the suspense, of course, and also because if our sweet and efficient high school secretary had known she was receiving the award, she wouldn't have shown up!! :).  Mrs. Masoner is very deserving of this award and our school really wouldn't be the same without her.  She loves working with the students and teachers and her attitude and smile are blessings to all who know her. Congratulations, Mrs. Masoner!
One of Tipton Schools' hard-working employees is also a talented cake-baker/decorator.  Gloria made four star cakes for the reception.  They were beautiful and delicious!
With the "new" things the committee decided this year, little did I know that one of the new things involved me.  As another new award, the committee decided to have a "Volunteer of the Year" award and I was the recipient!  All of the school teachers, employees and probably most of the students know that I love my "job".  I love helping them with the fun things - parties and meals and decorating.  I have truly been blessed by God to be able to help and do things for the school. I thank Him for that blessing.  Thank you for the award, Tipton School staff!  That was very sweet and I appreciate your thoughtfulness.
The end of the reception marks the beginning of summer break for Tipton Schools.  We're all excited about that!  Have a great summer, everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

They Are Precious In His Sight

I woke up really early this morning and really didn't sleep well during the night, either.  Every time I would wake up during the night, my thoughts went to prayers for children....children who are needing prayers on their behalf.  Please join me in prayer for these children.  I know many of you already are.

Pray for Ryan Hamil. 
Ryan is the little three year old boy from Piedmont, OK, that has been missing since the tornado struck his home Monday night.  Pray that he will be found and that God will continue to strengthen this family. (FYI:  Here is a page set up specifically to show support and prayers for him and his family.)

Pray for Marissa.
Marissa is a little girl in my youngest son's 2nd grade class.  She has a brain tumor and had surgery Monday to remove part of it.  They are awaiting tests to decide further action. Please pray that she will completely healed and be able to return to a normal life.

Pray for the children at Tipton Home.
If you read my blog regularly, you know that my husband works at a children's home (Tipton Home).  Please pray for the children there.  Every year at the end of school some of the children leave.  This is heartbreaking for those who love and care for these children.  There is a reason they are here and a reason they need to be here.  Please pray for them.  Pray for God to protect them and also for their futures - that they will continue to learn about God and grow in His Word.

Pray for all children.
Pray for all children.  Many students are dreading the end of school.  The thought of that makes me sad. For some it is dreaded because they will spend hours upon hours of time alone or unsupervised.  For some it is scary because they may be unsure of what they will eat for breakfast or lunch, they may feel scared not knowing who will be taking care of them, and unfortunately, because of this, some will make bad choices.  Please pray that God will be with all of these children during the summer.

Thank you for joining me in prayer for these children.  They truly are "precious in His sight". He loves them and He cares for them.  We can serve Him by helping care for them and by praying for them.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.
Proverbs 17:6

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Valleys of Life

Please pray for the people of Oklahoma (as well as those from last week's storm in Missouri and other areas) that have lost loved ones, as well as physical blessings, because of the tornadoes.  We're in the southwest corner and were not affected by the storms last night, but our hearts are heavy for those who are suffering.

The Valleys Of Life

We love to have the mountaintop
Experiences of life
To be in God’s presence worshiping
Where our spirits soar so high

These times are to be treasured
For all that God would do
So we will be better equipped
For the valley we must go through

For it’s down in the valleys
Where we are surely tested
Where we need more of God’s grace
As we share the gospel message

Where God does a deeper work
Revealing our true selves
Removing all that’s not of Him
Like unbelief and doubt

So our lamps again can shine
Without the smudges of sin
To clearly reflect God’s light inside
That once was burning dim

So others can see the hope we have
And be drawn unto the light
So they too can come to know
The saving grace of Christ

© By M.S.Lowndes
(Used by permission from http://www.heavensinspirations.com/)

Monday, May 23, 2011

End of School - Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Gratituesday for this week is simple and sure:  It's the end of school and my family. and many, many others, are super-excited!!  The busy, hectic schedules will be gone for a while.  The sleeping in a little bit (sometimes a lot!) later will be enjoyed by all of us (except for my husband, who never veers far from his 4:30 a.m. alarm).

For the past few years, our church family has hosted a hamburger/hot dog cookout at the school.  It's a special treat for all of the school staff and 6th - 12th grade students. (Thanks to all who helped with this event!)
Today was the last day of school for all those students who are exempt from semester tests.  As a special afternoon activity the students in 6th - 11th grade had fun with a water-balloon competition.  Obviously the students had lots of fun hitting each other and getting wet!  It was a hot and humid day, so the activity was welcomed fun for almost everyone.  I even saw one of the principals handing out ice cream sandwiches.  What a special treat!
I didn't get in on the water balloon activity - except for taking pictures and buying some balloons for my children, but it was an enjoyable day spent decorating the gym for senior graduation.....something I've been blessed to have the opportunity to do for the past several years.  (I love my jobs! :) I'm kind of getting sentimental thinking that in two years it will be our oldest child's (and only daughter's) graduation from high school.  Not quite ready to think about that right now!

As I think about this exciting week, though, it is with a very heavy and prayerful heart for the people in Joplin, Missouri, and in other areas that were hit by the tornado yesterday.  The devastation is horrible.  It is heartbreaking to see and hard to even think about what they are going through.  I pray that God strengthens those who are in mourning for loved ones, concerned about their futures, and who are without physical blessings, as well.

 God is our refuge and strength, 

 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way 
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 
 though its waters roar and foam 
   and the mountains quake with their surging.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:1-3, 7

Join us for GRATITUESDAY at Heavenly Homemakers!

   an ever-present help in trouble. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

7-UPS for Life

1. Wake Up !!...Decide to have a good day.

"Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalms 118:24

2. Dress Up !!...The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart."
I Samuel 16:7

3. Hush Up!!...Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.

"He who guards his lips guards his soul."
Proverbs 13:3

4. Stand Up!!...For what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.

 "Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good..."
Galatians 6:9-10

5. Look Up !!....To the Lord.

"I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13

6. Reach Up !!....For something higher.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways,acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path."
Proverbs 3:5-6

7. Lift Up !! ...Your Prayers.

"Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING."
Philippians 4:6

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Be Peculiar - Really!

Did you hear about the lady that was addicted to eating the foam out of couches recently?  It's a strange sickness - one we might say is odd or peculiar. Words such as peculiar make us think of odd, strange, even weird - yet the Bible describes Christians as a peculiar people (in the King James Version (KJV), anyway.  Other versions have "special" and other words.).  The Bible meaning isn't the meaning we think of nowadays as a definition for peculiar.

 In three different passages (Deuteronomy 14:2; Titus 2:14; and 1 Peter 2:9 - all KJV), God identifies His own people as a “peculiar people".  The world may call Christians "peculiar" and mean it in a negative connotation, but what did God mean by it? Literally, in those three passages, the word means, “that which is one’s own, belonging to one’s possessions; a people selected by God from the other nations for His own possession”.

If we are truly a child of God, then we have been chosen (adopted) out of the world (those who are not a true child of God) into His family, and we are His possession. We have been redeemed (bought back) by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Our adoption is free to us, but not to Him. He therefore has every right to expect us to obey His will. His Word is clear on how He wants us to live.  We get all mixed up.  We get opinions and feelings mixed with truth and fact.  God's Word straightens that all out for us - if we'll allow it to.

One of the hardest things to do as a Christian is to stand up for what's right (by God's standards - not our opinions), and to defend Christ, His church, and the gospel that leads to salvation.  When we choose to serve Him in that way - with that conviction - we may be called names.  We may be made fun of.  We may be hurt physically, mentally, or emotionally.  But, in everything, our faithfulness and commitment to God will show when we choose to be different....even peculiar. 

Persecution comes in many ways, and when we are persecuted for Him, we must believe that it is He who is being glorified.  It's not about being proud in what we are doing, but a pride in whose we are - in our belongingness and about being His chosen people.  In doing so, through our example and our walk, we will be living out that description in a way that shows others Jesus Christ - the Jesus that died for them and wants to be their Savior, too.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
John 15:17-19 (NIV)

The world did and still does hate Jesus and what He has done. The world hates God's plan.  The world wants to "do their own thing".  Satan would love it if all would denounce Jesus and serve him.  His goal is to trip us up and draw us away from God.  He delights in our persecution because he thinks we'll fail.

Being persecuted means we may be hated, too.  That's tough talk, isn't it?  Kind of scary?  I, myself, might be able to handle the persecution, but the thought of my family being persecuted makes me feel like a big mamma bear protecting her little bear cubs!  (My kiddos like it when I tell them that! They think it's funny....that I'm joking.....but I'm not.).  It's tough!  But, the road Jesus went down and the cross He died on was even tougher, and for that we can take it.  We can take whatever the world, the scoffers, and Satan want to throw at us, can't we?  Can't we be peculiar?

Ask yourself this important question:  Are you God’s own possession, a peculiar people? If so, you are not your own, for you belong to Him.  Belonging to Him should make us want to serve Him as described throughout the Bible.

You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.
1 Corinthians 7:23 (NIV)

Train Up A Child

During this time of year, with honors being doled out at various assemblies and banquets, it's hard to not get caught up in the "moments" of it all.  Of course students are thrilled to receive the awards and parents (me included!) and grandparents are thrilled to see their loved ones receive the honors, but it's really, really important to keep these worldly honors in perspective - in the proper perspective.

Worldly honors will fade away.  Glory in this life may bring fame and fortune, but they will never mean anything in eternity.  Every award my child/children receive may be very well earned and deserved, but their heavenly and eternal reward and stars in their heavenly crown should be what matters to me....not some plaque that hangs on the wall or a trophy that sits on a shelf - or even money that helps them further their education (which is a blessing, for sure!)

Yesterday, when I received a bulletin from a neighboring town congregation, our preacher-friend, Tom Bailey, had written a timely post - directed at exactly where my mind had been the past few weeks - on training up a child and teaching them about what is really important.  So, I borrowed his post to share with you today! Here it is:


Children are our greatest assets. From the time God placed them within our care, parents have been concerned about their growth and development. We want them to have the best of everything.

The schooling of our children becomes paramount. We start them in pre-school so they can get ahead. We ask for the best teachers. We make plans for the best universities. Before they go into the world, we want them trained in the best possible way.

Are we concerned with their spiritual training? Does Bible Class carry the same weight as math class? Which has the greatest priority, Bible bowl or bowling at the local bowling alley? Church camp or basketball camp? Do our children know more about their ABC’s than they know about “A”dam, “B”ethlehem, and the “C”ross?

If we send children into the world unprepared they will struggle and fail, not only physically but also spiritually. If you are concerned about the spiritual success of your child, then you will see that he is trained in the precepts of God. Bible Class will become more important than any school class, Bible bowl becomes more important than any spelling bee, church camp will take priority during the summer. When we again prepare the souls of our children to face the world we will cease loosing so many of them to the world. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22:6 --Tom

Thank you, Tom! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Quit

This has always been one of my favorite poems.  Thought I would share it with you all.  Have a great Wednesday!

Don't Quit
When things go wrong; as they sometimes will, 
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill, 
When the funds are low and the debts are high, 
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, 
When care is pressing you down a bit, 
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is tough with its twists and turns, 
As everyone of us sometimes learns, 
And many a fellow turns about, 
When he might have won had he stuck it out. 
Don't give up though the pace seems slow, 
You might succeed with another blow,

Often the goal is nearer than, 
It seems to a faint and faltering man; 
Often the struggler has given up, 
When he might have captured the victor's cup; 
And he learned too late when the night came down, 
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out, 
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, 
And you never can tell how close you are, 
It may be near when it seems afar; 
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit, 
It's when things seem the worst that you must not quit.

Author Unknown

Monday, May 16, 2011

Measuring Spoons

Several years ago I needed some new measuring spoons and measuring cups.  After almost 20 years of marriage and my measuring devices sometimes getting carried out to help with my husband's/children's goat projects, my measuring utensil supply had dwindled down drastically.

One day while in a popular dollar store, I came across some measuring spoons that I liked.  I bought them and used them from time to time, while still continuing to use some of my older ones.  Every time I used the new tablespoon, though, it just seemed like something was wrong.  It seemed too big.  I didn't check it, though.  Of course a brand new measuring spoon would be the correct measurement, wouldn't it?  Of course nothing would be sold that would be miss-sized, would it?  Or would it?

After some wondering, I decided to check it.  After pouring one tablespoon of water into the new tablespoon and comparing it to one of my old ones, the new one was much bigger - almost another 1/2 tablespoon bigger!  I couldn't believe it!  That's a big difference and a big problem for lots of recipe ingredients!

The standard we use in measuring makes a difference, doesn't it?  It makes a difference in baking.  It makes a difference in life.  The standard we use as a guide in how we should live really does matter.  So, what standard are you using?  Are you using a standard that's too small - too shallow?  Are you using a standard that's too big - too lofty and unattainable?  The best standard to use is God's standard - the Bible.  The Bible is the only source of what is true and what is right.  It is the perfect standard.  We don't have to "measure" up.  We can't ever be "good enough".  We just have to be willing to submit to God and give our lives totally to him and to allow Jesus into our lives according to His plan.

So, ask yourself this question:  What standard am I using as a guide to measure my life?  Am I using one that's too big or too small?  Or am I using God's standard?  It really matters!

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-14

On this Gratituesday, I am grateful for God's measurement guide - His Holy Word.  May it be the only standard we use to measure our lives.  Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thoughts for Today

1. Sorry about the lack of posts last week.  Blogger was having some "issues" and no one was able to post for a few days.  It's kind of good that we realize that technology is great, but that it is also not perfect.  It makes us more appreciative of it when it is working and thankful for those who can work to make it better. (I'm not one of those people, so I'm very appreciative!)

2.  Saturday our family attended a wedding.  I put on my status on Facebook that it was a royal wedding....because it was.  The bride and groom were both children of The King and were being united in Him!  That makes it a royal wedding, for sure! The best kind of royal wedding. This was the third wedding that my mom was a part of - in a way.  Do you remember my post "Is My Mom Cupid?".  This is the relationship mentioned in that post that had yet to evolve into a marriage-type relationship.  This past Saturday all of that changed!  I really think my mom should open up a website called, "eHarmony.mom" or something....don't you???? :)  Incidentally, the bride was also the youngest person at my own wedding, almost 23 years ago!  She was one month old on June 18, 1988!

3.  Tonight we had our youth group over for pizza, singing and devotional.  My husband talked to the teens about interesting stories in the Bible....ones that we hardly read about or think about.  Stories like Jael pounding the tent peg into Sisera's head (Judges 4:21-22) and about the kings who had their big toes cut off (Judges 1:5-7).  He told them of other rather strange-sounding stories, as well.  The stories are gorey, really, but obviously appealed to the kids and sparked their interest in God's Word.  It's good to get them interested in the Bible in different ways and tonight did just that!  They enjoyed the evening playing football, basketball, laughing, and talking.  A perfect, 70-degree evening of fellowship together!

4.  School is winding down here in Tipton.  End-of-school activities fill up the calendar.  Summer schedules are filling up quickly.  When school begins next fall (Lord willing), we will have two children in high school.  That seems unbelievable.  It seems unimaginable.  But it's real.  It's flying by!  It's hard to not get so caught up in the busy-ness of life and to slow down enough to enjoy the here and now.  It's hard to not think about the future and wonder what life will be like when they're all grown.  I need to stop and pray at these times.  Pray for guidance and wisdom and strength.  Pray for my children who have lots of decisions to make in just a few short years. 

5.  Last week this is what I would have posted on Thursday night, if Blogger had been working.  It's a quote from Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa.  Read her wise words below and think about them as you go throughout this week:

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

Have a great week, everyone! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Biscuit's Big Plan

The Chronicles of Biscuit:  Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

For the past few months, Biscuit has been on a money-making and saving mission.  His goal is to get a new set of golf clubs.  He asks if there are any special jobs he can do around the house, in the yard, and in the fields with our goats.  His grandmother "hired" him to pick up sticks and paid him for that, too.  He's slowly making progress....too slow in his opinion!

Biscuit wants new golf clubs, but his big plan involves us - his parents.  Biscuit told his dad the other day that when we die he is going to tear down our house and build a golf course.  It probably amounts to only two acres, so it wouldn't be that big, but in Biscuit's eyes it would be just perfect. 

I suppose I should worry that his big plan only comes into effect if my husband and I are out of the picture.  I suppose it should make me sad that Biscuit doesn't seem to mourn the thought of us being gone.  I don't think he's wanting to build the golf course right now, but I'm not going to ask him, either!

Biscuit has a plan.  He has a dream.  He's not obsessed with it, but has just logically (for an 8 year old) thought of what he would like to do. 

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
James 4:13-17

What about you?  Do you have a plan?  Do you have a dream?  What would you like to do in the future?  While each and every day is a gift from God, and we're not guaranteed another day to live this life, we should have some kind of plan - a course of action - as we live out our lives for Him.  But, in everything, we should realize that our plans will only succeed if they are God's will for our lives.  Our plans will successed when we are committed to Him, put our faith and trust in Him, and do it for His glory and not our own.

All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:2-3

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ladies Day Out in Edmond, OK

A few weeks ago I invited all of the church ladies to go on a trip to Edmond, OK.  The plan was to eat at Inspirations Tea Room and shop at "The Market" (west of Quail Springs Mall).  Counting me, eight ladies were able to attend the fun event.  We left out bright and early this morning, pleased with the cooler day and the overcast skies, but also pleased to be spending a day together as Christian sisters.  We decided it would be fun to wear hats for the lunch.
If you ever visit Edmond, Inspirations Tea Room is a must.  The meal begins with scones served with lemon curd.  Delicious!
 This is my plate.  I ordered what they call a "trio".  It included a sandwich, a salad, and a cup of soup.  The plate is beautiful, as you can see!  It comes with a fresh flower and a scripture.  Mine said:  "A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17.  What a fitting scripture for our day out together!  We all had different scriptures and took the time to read them out loud one at a time.
Hot tea is a specialty at the tea room.  There must be at least 30 flavors to choose from.  I chose caramel creme brulee'.  Yum!  I also chose a flavored vanilla iced tea.  It was great, too!
My choice for dessert was coconut cake. Everything is pleasing to the eye and to the taste buds!
Others got chocolate cake.....
....and an interesting dessert I'd never heard of:  Pineapple Banana Cobbler.  They said it was good, but very rich!
This is me outside on the patio of the tea room.  The overcast skies made a perfect day for pictures.  My eyes are open!  That's a rare thing!
 Another beautiful picture of the patio.  A bed & breakfast called Two Hearts Inn is connected to the back of the tea room.
Geneva, Lois, and Anita pose for a picture.
We decided Sarah looked like she should have attended the royal wedding!  Her hat looked great on her!
Sisters Erma and Sue posing for a picture.
Laura smiling pretty for the camera!
Outside of "The Market" after shopping.

After the special day, we've decided that this trip should become an annual event - or maybe even more often.  It's great to be able to get together as friends.  It's great to be able to slow down a bit and not rush, rush, rush!  It's a blessing to spend time with Christian sisters.

Monday, May 9, 2011

You Color Our World!

This week the Tipton PTO is celebrating "Teacher Appreciation Week" by treating the teachers and faculty of Tipton Public Schools to meals and snacks.  (In case you're wondering, we usually celebrate it a week later than it's "officially" scheduled due to conflicts.) 
(Crayon crowns for the elementary teachers & staff)
Although our PTO is primarily an elementary organization, our school is small and everyone helps everyone, so all of the schools gets this special treat.
The only difference in the special celebration is that the elementary workroom gets decorated for the week or few days.  This year's theme is:  You Color Our World!.  It's a school/crayon theme and most of the items were purchased online from Oriental Trading.
Because I like to decorate and rent/loan some of my decorations, I buy them myself.  It's not with PTO money.  I say that not to brag, but so everyone knows.  I certainly don't think it's right for anyone to help fund my "obsession" with decorating!  It's my thing so I take care of it.  The only one that I usually get approval from is my husband!  He's so good to let me rent a storage building for my many, many totes!  He was also kind enough to help me decorate at the school late last night and go early to get donuts for the teachers for this mornings' breakfast!  Thanks, Joe :).

On this GRATITUESDAY, I am grateful for our teachers and all of the staff of our school.  They work hard to teach our children what they need to know to be successful in life, but the also care about each of them as individuals. Thank you for what you do for our children and for all of us!

Join us for GRATITUESDAY at Heavenly Homemakers!

Natural Instinct


This is one of our goat dogs.  I'm not sure if he has a name.  He's happy and content laying around on our lush green grass - right by the road that's on the side of our house.  I'm sure people wonder why he is there - in fact we wonder why he stays there.  He's actually supposed to be "in" the goat pen with the goats, but many months ago - last summer, actually - my husband moved some of the goats from the small field to another field near by.  When he went back to get the dog, he was gone.  He had left trying to go where he was supposed to be.  That natural God-given instinct kicked in and the dog knew he had to leave his regular pen and care for the goats in another pen, too.

Time went on and July 4th came around.  The dog had been going back and forth between the two fields of goats - one across the street and a little ways north.  The other behind our house. The celebration fireworks scared the dog and he ended up getting back in his original pen - at least for a while. A storm came and he jumped back out!

During this whole time my husband has tried to catch the dog, but he wouldn't come to him or anyone (and still doesn't), except one neighbor lady.  She can talk to him and even pet him, but he doesn't stay there long, either.  It's like he knows if he stays anywhere, he'll be caught. My husband had a few others try to catch him and one guy did, eventually, but the dog jumped the fence (a high fence) and got out.  It's just that natural instinct that tells him he's got to be with those goats - and all of them in two different pens!

The dog looks thin and malnourished.  I know people wonder about him.  We put food out.  He has access to water in the goat pens and when we water the grass (which is daily).  He probably scares people that walk down that road, though they would scare him more!  He'll bark occasionally, but not too much.  He's a goat guard dog.  That's his job.  He's doing just what he is supposed to be doing - just in his own unique way!

Think about your own life.....
What are you doing?  What kind of natural instinct do you have?  We were all created in the image of God, so our natural instinct should be to love Him and to serve Him, but the world sometimes gets in the way and our instinct gets skewed.  As a mom, I have a natural instinct to care for my family.  It's an instinct given by God, but if I'm not careful the world can mess that up, too.  The world will tell me my life is all about what I want and not about serving others - even my family. The world will tell me I must have "me" time - time for entertainment and pleasure at the expense of my husband and children.  Is that what God wants from His children - His creation?

Our goat dog amazes me, really!  I watch him move from our yard, to the back field, then to the further field.  Watching, checking, guarding, protecting.  Kind of sounds like God, doesn't it?  Except on a much higher scale and with a whole world of people?  God is there watching us, checking on us, guarding us, and protecting us.  I like that natural instinct, don't you?

(Note:  With goat dogs, supposedly the owner isn't supposed to "make friends" or they won't be good goat dogs.  But, since this situation - where my husband can't get near the dog - he's decided to make friends with the new puppy we have that will be another goat dog...for another field.  Right now he's  living in the back yard with our family dog and happy as can be! :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oklahoma FFA State Convention 2011

I didn't mean to go on a blog-writing hiatus, but it just happened that way!  For the past three days, I've been a chaperone at the Oklahoma FFA State Convention with about 25 Tipton FFA members and three other adults.  We had a great time, arriving back home between 12:45 and 1:15 a.m. this morning!  During the convention, it's hard to do anything else except be at the convention and blogging from a cell phone doesn't appeal to me....and neither did blogging from the hotel room at midnight.  So, yes, it was an unplanned hiatus, but I'm back.
So here I am, Thursday morning, sitting at home blogging, while the FFA members had to go to school this morning.  The men sponsors had to go to work this morning.  The other female sponsor had to go to an appointment.  I'm home :). I feel guilty!  Really! (Thankful, but still guilty! :)  I know the rest of them are worn smooooooooothhhhhhh out!
A great part of the trip, for me, was getting to be there with my two oldest children.  I had been when Lauren was an 8th grader and this time got to experience it with Zachary as an 8th grader.  He and I ate together twice during the trip.  Others went different directions and it just ended up being the two of us, so that was really nice and fun (for me, anyway!).  I think he enjoyed it, too!
Guess who got to be on the video board during the Redhawks game?  Me!  See my beautiful cowboy hat?  I was selected to play "Country or Crock".  I had to guess if song lyrics were "country" or "crock" (not real).  Since I don't listen to country, I didn't know any of the answers! The Redhawks announcer standing by me helped me out some, but even he got one wrong!
The FFA has a wonderful chorus for the state convention.  One of Tipton's own FFA members, Mikayla Balderas, was chosen to be part of the chorus.  Mikayla was also selected to perform a solo at the opening ceremony, as well as a solo part in one of the songs at a few other sessions.  Great job, Mikayla!  (Note:  To read more about Mikayla, visit her website at http://www.mikaylajo.com/.)
The Tipton FFA won several chapter awards.  Here, daughter Lauren, is receiving one of them.  Several members also received awards for different areas:  Speeches, Proficiency, and State Farmer. 
We heard great speakers during the convention. One was Dave Dravecky, former Major League Baseball player who had his left arm and shoulder amputated due to cancer.
The other was Josh Sundquist who had his left leg amputated because of cancer at the age of nine.  Both men talked about how their disabilities became blessings.  The speeches were inspirational and challenged the youth (and adults) in many ways.  They both believe that because of what has happened to them, they have been able to live a life that they wouldn't have had the opportunity to live otherwise.  (Josh's website is http://www.joshsundquist.com/.)
The final part of the convention is the officer ceremony.  The 2010-2011 officers made a grand entrance, rising up from the bottom of this black, foggy box.  The electric light show and music is a highlight of all convention sessions.
Oklahoma FFA State Convention 2011 is the end of lots of hard work for FFA members and their advisors.  Congratulations to all of you!  FFA is still one of my very favorite organizations!

(Note:  If you don't know about FFA and think it is all "Future Farmers of America", visit the website.  While it used to be mostly all "farm", it no longer is and is no longer known as the "Future Farmers of America".  It's just simply FFA.  Check it out!  There are great opportunities for growth and leadership for your children and grandchildren!)
 
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